House Investigates Bank of Agriculture

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By Udora Orizu

The House of Representatives has ordered probe of Bank of Agriculture (BoA) over the usage of funds disbursed by the bank to defaulting anchor companies under the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) and the non-recovery of N81,502,822,030.31 balance.

The House also mandated its Committees on Agricultural Production and Services and Banking and Currency to investigative the role of BoA, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) and other relevant bodies involved in the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.

These resolutions were sequel to the adoption of a motion titled: ‘Need to Investigate the Usage of Funds Disbursed by the Bank of Agriculture to Anchor Companies under the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP)’, sponsored by Hon. Sergius Ose Ogun.

Presenting the motion, Ogun noted that the CBN, in line with its mandate, established the Anchor Borrowers Programme with the intent to create a linkage between anchor companies involved in processing and the small holder farmers of key agricultural commodities.

He said the House is aware that out of the N104, 226,956,985.10 provided by the CBN for the scheme, a total of N86, 634, 165,880.59 was disbursed to the anchor companies while the sum of N81, 502,322,030.31 is yet to be recovered from the defaulting anchor companies.

The lawmaker said with the non-recovery of the outstanding N81, 502,822,030.31, other potential small holder farmers (SHF) who would have been beneficiaries of the scheme are being denied the opportunity to benefit from the scheme.

He expressed concerns that the non-recovery of the said balance of the loan from the Anchor companies is negatively affecting the overall objective of the Anchor Borrowers Programme, being a revolving fund.

Similarly, the House also ordered an investigation into the activities of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN).

The Green Chamber, after adopting a motion on the ‘Need to Investigate the Activities of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria’, sponsored by Hon. Julius Ihonvbere, directed its Committee on Housing to as a matter of urgency investigate the structure, operations and challenges facing the bank and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.

Ihonvbere, while presenting the motion, said the Federal Mortgage Bank, inspite of the large sums of contributors’ money and the force of legality at its disposal, failed to deliver on its mandate of providing housing for Nigerians.

He stressed that the continuous retention of such large sums of money by the bank is a veritable source of corruption which should be discouraged.

The lawmaker expressed concerns that the bank has only been able to deliver a paltry 28,000 housing units across the country in the face of the ever burgeoning demand for housing in Nigeria, adding that with the pa